Paying for extras in economy

We thought this article below from the weekend papers summed things up nicely.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Date: 30 June 2012


Economy-class passengers can sign up for key extras the frequent flyers enjoy. Steve Dow outlines who offers what.

Want a few pampered-flyer perks, even if you’re the occasional economy-class traveller without lounge membership? Belts are tightening but, if you only make one or two economy trips a year, here’s how to feel more like a valued frequent flyer, for a modest extra payment.


Passengers can reserve an exit row seat with Qantas for $40 per sector on most international flights.

Extra leg room From $25 on domestic flights and from $30 on international: on an A320 and A321, get an extra 20 centimetres of “seat pitch” (the space between the same point on your seat and the seat directly in front of you); on an A330, get an extra 38 centimetres.

Lounge access For $9.99 online or phone and $15 on the door (there’s only one lounge, at the Gold Coast airport, and no word on when more might open in other cities).

Perk packages The Plus package, including seat selection, flight changes and a meal on select international flights, is $17 for short-haul domestic, $22 on long-haul domestic, $30 trans-Tasman, $40 short-haul international and $50 long-haul international. The Max bundle gives all the Plus perks as well as refundable tickets, extra leg room and upfront seats. From $40 domestic/ $90 international, depending on when you book, how full the plane is and your destination.


Extra leg room On international flights QF1 to QF199, request an exit row seat for $40 a sector up to three hours before departure. Domestic passengers can’t purchase extra leg room.

Lounge access Be a free guest of a member flying domestically, regardless of whether you’re travelling. For international lounges, you can be a member’s guest provided you’re travelling, too. Alas however, lone travellers cannot get casual access.

Preferred economy seat On international flights for preferred window, aisle or other seat, $20 a sector. Domestic passengers can choose for free online up to 24 hours before a flight, or just before a flight at the check-in desk or kiosk.

Valet parking $72 for one day in Sydney or Melbourne.

Virgin Australia

Extra leg room For $20 to $70 (from $35 Sydney to Melbourne), book a seat in an exit row for domestic and short-haul international flights, or $150 on international long hauls (book it as late as check-in only on international long haul).

Lounge access Fly with a friend who has membership and get free guest access.

Air New Zealand

Lounge access One-off ticket to the Koru lounge, $55.

Better seat Long-haul passengers can email the OneUp program, offering what they’re prepared to pay to upgrade to an unsold seat in premium.


Concierge Dubai hub, for $20 a trolley, porters help to check-in bags at departures, retrieve them from the carousel on arrival and take them to the passengers’ transport.

Cathay Pacific

Extra leg room To book roomier emergency exit row seats, it’s $US100 ($99) a sector on long-haul flights or $US25 to mainland China and regional destinations.

Singapore Airlines

Extra leg room For $US50 a sector on most flights, book up to 48 hours before departure. Lounge access Guests of travelling customers with a same-day boarding pass are welcome free; no casual access for lone travellers.